The “Bible Answer Man” Hank Hanegraaff is now Eastern Orthodox

When I first saw the image a friend sent me on Facebook, I did a double take. I recognized the priests as Fr. Wallace and Fr. Dalber from St. Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church in Charlotte, NC. Back when I taught at Southern Evangelical Seminary, I used to take my world religion classes there during our study of the ancient Church. It was also here that several friends became Orthodox while I dabbled on my journey into the Catholic Church.

The reason of interest for sending the picture was not these priests, however. Rather, it was the man receiving chrismation from them: Hank Hanegraaff, president and chairman of the Christian Research Institute and host of the popular Evangelical radio show, the Bible Answer Man (BAM). Hank Hanegraaf is now Eastern Orthodox!

It took a while for to to confirm, but within a few hours I had confirmations from both professional colleagues and personal friends. I also found someone (another SES alum, as it turns out!) who was talking about it HERE.  It only happened last night (Palm Sunday), so I assume that Hank will announce on the BAM show soon. [Since originally posting this, several sites have confirmed as well. See HERE, HERE, and HERE. There’s even a Facebook support page!]. He said so himself on the BAM broadcast HERE (11:00).

Apparently this move may not be a huge surprise to those who have been following Hank as of late. he recently caused a bit of a stir in some Orthodox circles when he gave a positive explanation of their notion of Theosis, and the Evangelical Triablogue complained about his eastern leanings earlier this month. In any case, Hank says his “beliefs haven’t changed” and that’s not a big surprise to me – it’s not a huge move from more traditional, conservative Protestantism to the more ecumenical forms of Eastern Orthodoxy.

Now, I haven’t followed Hank in well over a decade, but back in the 90’s the BAM was very influential on me. In fact, it was Hank’s interview with Norman Geisler that convinced me to attend Southern Evangelical Seminary. In the years that followed, I lost interest in his pontificating, grew weary of the ministry’s commercialization, and became suspicious about certain financial issues. But although I am no longer a BAM fanboy, I will give credit where it is due – and add this event to numerous similar anecdotes in the “Afterword” of my own journey out of Evangelicalism.

I wish Hank and his family well.

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10 thoughts on “The “Bible Answer Man” Hank Hanegraaff is now Eastern Orthodox

  1. I am Catholic, but I used to listen to Hank’s radio show in the 90s as well.
    I cannot recall Hank being too critical of Catholic doctrine or certain teachings but I may be wrong.
    In my opinion, there are many, many passages in the New Testament and a few in the Old Testament that point to purgatory. I think Hank may have yielded on this critical doctrine. Or maybe it was John Chapter 6?

    Do not know, but thanks for the information and I wish all Christians all the best.

  2. I have followed Hank for many years. I had been thinking that his show was getting better and better over the past few years. I had even mentioned this to my wife, noting that Hank’s thinking and explication of doctrine was getting deeper and more nuanced, certainly more so than almost any other evangelical podcast that I listened to. So, in many ways, I am not surprised to see that he has come to the Orthodox Church.
    It has been my general feeling for a very long time that the deeper one goes in thinking theology through, the closer one comes to being Orthodox or Catholic. I expressed this at a largely Evangelical conference in Oxford 10 years ago and was met with some derision.

  3. Are we sure that isn’t an April Fool’s joke? I think it is great and all, but would hate to be ‘punked’ on the matter. I seem to remember from shows years ago he being opposed to all things Theosis. It is interesting to see that change over time, though, as another direction in the exodus from Evangelicalism that has occurred over the years. Nice to see a positive movement forward in his life. I do wonder how long his fan base will last among hardcore Evangelicals, though.

  4. See original post for this: [Since originally posting this, several sites have confirmed as well. See HERE, HERE, and HERE. There’s even a Facebook support page!]

  5. Knowing Finis J Dake I’m certain he would not respond in kind but rather weep hot tears over this departure from truth.

  6. Pingback: Why Hanegraaff’s Conversion is Not Really a Big Deal (But It Should Be) | Douglas Beaumont

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